President Trump did not let Catholics down: His administration granted a religious exemption to the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on October 6th. Those employers whose “sincerely held religious beliefs” are compromised by providing for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraceptives in their healthcare plans do not have to abide by the mandate.
By providing for the religious exemption, the Trump administration affirmed conscience rights, a liberty trashed by the Obama administration. This means that organizations such as the Little Sisters of the Poor will not have to abide by healthcare provisions deemed morally offensive.
The Catholic League expressed its concerns on several occasions that the Trump administration was slow to reverse the Obama policy. But we never doubted that President Trump would eventually render the right decision. This ruling effectively overturns one of the most anti-Catholic policies crafted by the Obama administration.
It is for everyone to note, especially Catholics, that the Obama HHS mandate was an opening for demanding Catholic entities to pay for abortion. That was the purpose of including abortion-inducing drugs in the policy.
What still needs correction, not simply clarification, is the Obama administration’s pernicious attempt to redefine what constitutes a Catholic organization. Catholic entities that hire and serve non-Catholics do not lose their Catholic status simply because the government defines them as functionally secular.